Hello my friends!
Once again, I’m back with another English Report!
This time, Tamaki san and his team will be visiting Yasato in Ishioka.
A village not so far from
mount Tsukuba and mount Kaba in Ibaraki Prefecture.
This is Tamaki san’s first time walking around this area…
Mount Tsukaba is on his left side,
it’s beautiful he says.
As he keeps walking on the road,
he finds a small shop.
Seems like they sell fruits.
He gets closer and suddenly a man holding
a box of Persimmon comes out.
He greets the man and says Good morning.
Then asks him: “Are you selling persimmons right now?”
And the man says yes and tells him that
he’s getting ready to open the shop.
Tamaki san says that the persimmons are in good shape.
The man tells him that they produce lots of different types of
fruits around this area. They have Strawberry, Blueberry,
Nashi, Chestnut, Grapes and Persimmons.
Then he asks Tamaki san if he wants to
try some persimmon…
Well you know the answer is nothing but YES! XD
They get inside the shop and
the man starts peeling the persimmon.
Tamaki san says that it feels like the persimmons produced here
has a stronger red color compared to the others and is
wondering if it’s his own imagination.
But the man assures him that he’s not wrong
and the reason is the situation of the climate and
the ground in this area which causes the color
to be stronger than the ones produced in other towns.
The peeling is done.
The man hands the persimmon to Tamaki san
and he takes a bite.
Tamaki san is surprised…
It’s really juicy and sweet he says.
You can easily see the juice inside the persimmon,
where he took the bite…
The man says that the cold air comes down to the ground
from the slope of Mount Tsukaba…
which causes the warm air to rise up and stay where it is.
That’s why the fruits here are very nutritious and juicy.
Tamaki san thanks the man and leaves the shop
for a long long walk in the village.
While enjoying the juicy persimmon
in his hand off course!
Walking on the road again,
Tamaki san says that it feels strange,
it’s as if time has stopped here, only in this village.
Then he finds a huge place with an interesting gate…
He’s interested of course and gets inside.
There’s a huge yard…
taking a look inside,
he finds an old lady working on something.
He greets her and apologizes for the interruption…
Then asks her what she is doing.
Seems like she is making decorations for the shrine.
Tamaki san asks her if she’s working
here all by herself,
and she says that sometimes, other people
work here with her as well.
She uses a box to explain
where they use the decorations in the shrine.
If this was the shrine’s building she says,
the decorations will be hanging like this!
she explains while showing it with her hands…
sometimes the decorations are as long as
50 meters she says.
Tamaki san is surprised!! 50 meters! O_O
Then he asks the old lady about her age XD
And she laughs…
wondering if he can figure it out!!
She tells him that she was born on year 10, Showa era.
Which means 1935 in the western calendar.
I can say that right away because I searched but Tamaki san
has to calculate!! XD
He starts thinking…
Asks for some time to calculate XD
he finds out that she is 80!
Then Tamaki san asks her about
her secret of staying healthy,
and she says that it’s the goal she has…
She says that she wonders what people in big cities do
when they get retired…
Tamaki san agrees with her, saying that people
living in the countryside always have work to do
even when they get old.
Her house was built many years ago,
around the last years of Edo era.
But thanks to her hard work,
it stands still and beautiful even now!
Getting back on the road and starting walking again…
Tamaki san finds another huge house…
As he walks toward the gate,
he notices the tiny flower lining in
the other side of the road next to the house
and says with a happy voice:
“Pansy!!” (A type of flower)
But as he gets close,
he starts doubting his own idea and
is wondering if they really are pansies or not!!
The gate is amazing!
More like a shrine (^_^; But it’s a house!
Tamaki san finds a man sitting inside.
he enters the gate and greets him.
Tamaki san tells him that his house looks amazing.
Then asks him when the house was built.
And the old man (Kizaki san) says that
it was built around the last stage of Edo era.
Tamaki san also likes the landscape over the gate,
being visible from inside the yard!
Tells Kizaki san that the view is amazing!
Kizaki san says that the place is a real Eden,
almost no unwanted noise or distribution,
quiet and beautiful.
They have a walk inside the yard… better say garden!
Tamaki san is really interested in this place,
he keeps looking around and
admiring the huge garden.
Then they reach a lake!!
Yes… inside the garden XD
“Can we go there?!”
Tamaki san says while pointing to the
cute bower like space on the water.
“Yes we can!” Kizaki san replies!
Heading to the place,
Tamaki san asks him if he made this
by himself and Kizaki san says yes.
They have to cross
a very narrow wooden bridge to get there…
but Tamaki san is a little bit worried about Kizaki san…
He stretches his hand toward him and says:
“Are you really gonna be OK?”
“It’s OK!” Kizaki san replies with a calm tone!
Then he grasps onto a very weak and thin tree branch,
and Tamaki san becomes even more worried!! XD
Then he says: “This won’t support you!”
Then he starts laughing and repeats it again
while holding the branch in his hand!!
But Kizaki san has already crossed the bridge XD
Then he crosses the bridge himself
while he is still laughing!
Admiring Kizaki san once again XD
he gets inside as well!
Tamaki san says that it must be great having a
space like this in your own house.
Kizaki san says that he always comes here when he
is not in a very good mood.
Being here and watching
the landscape makes him feel better.
Then he tells him that the moon comes out from where he’s
pointing at and then moves all the way to the right.
Watching the moon from here is great he says!
A place he built by himself, all for himself ^^
Then Tamaki san asks him if he is still able
to do the farming by himself,
and Kizaki san says yes!
Here comes again…
Tamaki san asks him about his AGE XD
Kizaki san laughs and asks him back:
“How old do I look like to you?” >__<
This tricky question!! XD
Tamaki san is troubled…
“How old you would be… you look very healthy!” (^_^;
Then here comes his guess: “90?!”
Kizaki san says: “90?!…
YES! I’m 90!”
Maybe you could start with 60
and make him happy (^_^;
But that’s what’s special about him XD
He is exactly 90 years old he says.
Then while raising his two arms up,
Kizaki san asks him:
“Can you do this when you are 90?”
Tamaki san says:
“I don’t think I will be able to raise my arms like you
when I’m 90…
but you can do it! Amazing!!“
that’s the way you should reply XD
Back to the road again…
Tamaki san and his team find a factory
making Incense sticks!
Let’s take a look inside.
Tamaki san greets the staff working inside and
asks for permission to get in!
There are two men working here at this section.
Tamaki san asks them about the process and
one of them explains to him
that they first make the paste,
then put it inside the machine,
and the noodle like sticks come out from the other side.
The sticks are still soft when they come out of the machine.
They cut them into the right size and they will be ready
to use when they are dried out.
The paste is made from the dried leaves of cedar trees.
Tamaki san stands beside the machine
watching the process,
but the man asks him if he would like to try
being a part of the process!
hehehehe he is surprised:
“Is it OK?” he asks XD
But when the man says that it will be fine,
he says that he’d love to try!
They stop the machine once
and he takes the sit after
receiving some explanation about
how he should do the job XD
Here we go!!
He should keep the sticks on the board,
and move it upward to cut them and then
put the board on the moving roll.
Taking the challenge,
Tamaki san picks up the board and the machine starts working.
The sticks start to come out…
But somehow they all fall down on the floor XD
Tamaki san says looking down on the floor!!
The sticks are all over his shoes!
He doesnt know when is the best time
to move the board he says while laughing! XD
This time the man in charge helps him,
holding on the board with one hand…
Moves the board for him to the right place,
and then leaves it all to him again XD
Then when the right time comes,
he helps him move the board upward…
This time he was able to do it perfectly XD
Putting the board on the roll…
Now he can do it again and again…
he’s getting better each time ^^
But he says that he’s wasting a lot of the paste…
because the sticks are too long
since he is not used to this yet.
But the staff assures him that it’s fine
and there’s no need to worry about that.
As he leaves the sit and stands up,
he says that the job is tough
and your arms will get hurt
if you keep doing this all day long!
The man agrees while laughing and says that many
parts of your body starts hurting
when you are a beginner XD
Then, they leave the working place
and the other man (Komamura san)
gauides him to the place where
the leaves are being kept…
… and shows him inside the place
where they are being turned into powder.
All the power they need for the process is produced
by the huge wooden water mill
which is placed next to the storage house.
The mill is being moved 24 hours, 7 days a week…
nonstop of course!
The water flow comes down from mount Tsukuba,
and moves the water mill as you can see in the snapshot.
Then they get inside the storage house…
A very complicated looking, but actually simple system!
The gear wheels are being moved by the water mill’s power,
then they move the thick, wooden poles up and down,
and the leaves which are placed in a space under the poles,
will be turned into a granular powder.
The idea of using this system,
comes from the way of making mochi in Japan.
“Nice smell!” Tamaki san says.
Komamura san explains that the smell is
because of the way they’re doing this.
The powder then will be mixed with boiling water
and turn into the paste we saw in the factory.
Komamura san stops one of the poles and asks
Tamaki san to try lifting it with his hand…
“Too heavy!!” he says while trying really hard!
He lifts it a little bit…
then lets it go and the pole starts moving up and down again.
Komamura san says that they need them to be really heavy,
for their powder making process.
Then Tamaki san says that it’s similar to mochi making.
Komura san agrees saying that just like the mochi being
tastier when it’s made by hand…
this powder is also in better quality
when it’s made like this by the traditional ways.
This tradition is being kept since the Edo era,
exactly as it was as Komamura san says.
Then Tamaki san is gauided to the place where they
pack the sticks and get them ready for sale.
70 sticks in every package…
and all the process is done by hand…
Tamaki san asks one of the ladies
(Who seems to be Komakura san’s mother)
“Have you been doing this job for a long time?”
She says that she’s been here since she got married
and has done many different jobs.
Then Tamaki san talks to her about the old water mill.
Komamura san’s mother says that the only place working
with the power of the Water mill right now is this factory.
In the old days,
there were many other places using water mills…
an udon shop even used to have 3 of them!!
Somehow his son was the only one who decided to
keep the tradition ^^
Tamaki san asks her:
“But you should be happy about that, aren’t you?”
And she says that she is… she is happy ^^
Travelling to the villages like this,
makes the traveler think about the real meaning
Back to the road again…
Tamaki san finds a huge farm,
where visitors can pick as many fruits
as they want from the trees.
Entering the farm…
Tamaki san notices a vehicle coming down the hill!
But the shape is surprisingly unique!! XD
“What’s this?!” he says!
Then while laughing: “Has the car been chopped?!”
The mysterious vehicle parks right in front of him
and the driver comes out!
Tamaki san greets him and says:
“Your car… sorry! Is it OK to start from the car’s topic?!”
“Your car misses some parts every car should have!”
The man (Uchida san) tells him that the car misses the ceiling!
After a few seconds of silence…
(You can her the staff laughing!)
Tamaki san asks if he cut it by himslef and Uchida san
says that he asked a professional to cut it for him!
Tamaki san is still confused XD
Then he asks: “you just didn’t need it anymore?”
Of course that cannot be the reason (^_^;
Uchida san explains that he could not enter the gardens
with the car as it was!
Because the tree branches are too low.
Even after hearing the reasonable explanation,
Tamaki san is still interested in the ceiling-less car XD
As they walk toward the gardens together,
Tamaki san says that he has never done
something like this before. Picking the fruits directly
from the tress…
There is a group of kids visiting the place
with their teachers today…
As they get closer… Tamaki san notices the kid
and when they get even closer,
he realizes that there are not just a few of them!
There are LOTS of them!!
“Wow…wow!” he says XD
The kids are just normal but the teachers… (^_^;
they all start screaming the moment they see him!
Their reactions are amazing!
They forget about the children for a few seconds XD
Let’s stop here and continue in the 2nd part…
Still places to go…
and people to meet!
So please stay tuned ^^
See you soon!
End of part 1